Insecurity: NATFORCE tasks FG on illegal importation of fire arms, ammunitions

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By; NIYI OGUNGBOLA, Abeokuta.
The National Task force (NATFORCE) on illegal importation of small arms, ammunitions, light weapons and pipeline vandalisation has called on the Federal Government to intensify  efforts  at overcoming security challenges across the country saying until illegal importation of ammunitions into the country is adequately checked, the insecurity may not abate.
The South West Coordinator of the Task Force, Rtd. Col. Anthony Awote made this call while speaking during the official inauguration of the state command of the task force, held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
According to Awote, the spate of insecurity across Nigeria, particularly the Niger Delta militancy as well as the pipeline vandalism among others were caused by the proliferation of
arms and ammunitions.
He also appealed to the National Assembly (NASS) to expedite action on the passage of the Bill before it which he said would further give legal backing to the Task Force to arrest and prosecute illegal importers of fire arms in Nigeria.
He said that the task force was not out to usurp the duties of existing security agencies but it would complement their efforts.
Awote said NATFORCE, which was inaugurated by the former Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga in 2008 is capable of curtailing activities of those elements in the illicit business of illegally importing weapons into the country.
“The task force, since inauguration, has intercepted a trailer load of arms and ammunitions at the Onitsha head bridge, it also discovered an island of cache of firearms, while last year, the Ogun state command intercepted a luxurious bus loaded with arms and ammunitions as well as a lorry load of expired Maggie seasoning”.
“So if we could achieve all these as a private organization, imagine what the task force can do if it is legally recognized by the government. First, many Nigerians will be gainfully employed, there will be close monitoring of our borders especially the porous ones; the IGR of government will increase since all these weapons will be imported through the right channel”.
Awote, who explained that NATFORCE is presently being supervised by the office of the National Security Adviser under the Ministry of Interior.
He further disclosed that the force will enhance internal security, contribute to reducing the spate of terrorism and militant activities in addition to providing employment opportunities for the youth.

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